The things we say without saying

I had occasion today, as I was backdoored into someone’s computer to fix a problem, to peruse this person’s music collection. Or at least the music collection that had been placed there in order for it to sync to her Microsoft Zune mp3 player…Neither of which is approved to be on our company computers…

I think music collections have always been a great telling of the soul of a person. Music, after all, is one of the windows to the soul, and what you listen to and what resonates with you is a window to who you are. In the past, though, there would be great stacks or shelves of vinyl albums. Then cassettes. Then CDs. Now, it’s a listing of files and folders on a computer.

This person had about 10 GB of music on her work computer. And though she initially denied having personal data on the computer, later relented after she started to see the list of files go past on the screen.

But in that 10 GB of music were folder after folder of “best of” albums for just about every musician who ever had a hit in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And off of those “best of” albums would be selected only one or two songs. This person chose just the select highlights from the artists, eschewing the rest of their work and just concentrating on the core hits that by now are virtually all the artist is known for.

I chuckled at the list, not only because of it’s relative brevity–I mean, who gets just one song from a Sting “best of” album–but also because I have most of the music this person had. It was remarkable: one hit from the Backstreet Boys, two from Billy Joel, three from U2, and five from The Beatles, but a vast ignorance of the rest of the rest of the body of work.

Until I came to one folder.

It seemed complete. Googling confirmed: all of the albums, and all of the songs from those albums.

There, among the highlights of 25-to-30 year old music was a virtual temple to everything this musical act had ever done.

It was the Captain & Tennille.

And I burst out laughing.

See you tomorrow.